The east

Trip Start Feb 21, 2007
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37
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Germany  ,
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Augh, I keep not having enough time in places! It is frustrating.  Now I have both Munich and another - Dresden - on my list of places to return to and spend a good few days in delving deep.  There is just to much.  I had been debating between Dresden and Leipzig, and when I found out I could stay at a friend of a friend's in Dresden, that sealed the deal!  Dresden is quite a pretty city - what's left of it anyways....  My excellent tour guide and host, Thomas, explained that after WWII Dresden was basically flattened.  And remained so until the Iron Curtain came down.  Ok the wall.  whatever.  The point is they had little money to use towards rebuilding, so I would guess that about 80-85% of the buildings now standing or under construction, are renovated, reconstructed, or completely new.  In what will likely soon be called the historical area, the majority of the buildings are reconstructions of what was there before the war, so you get a good idea of the architecture (a la 17th/18th cen) and the layout.  Maps and photos of old compared to new abound, and are full of useful information if you can speak German or know someone who does....  even the tourist office is in a cool old building!  Sadly though, it has taken all too long for these things to get off the ground - between getting money after '89, and again after the EU really kicked in (it's still slow in coming though), and the politics of building necessary bridges for example, but risking losing the World Heritage title in the mean time, Dresden hasn't had an easy time of it!

The river Elbe (which caused a super flood in the 90s) runs through the middle, and we visited a summer palace just outside the city with great views of the river and sunset, and beautiful gardens with a giant over 100 yr old Kamile? or something herb "tree".  It's practically a tree now at any rate, although it was pruned back in a manner of speaking after a nearby fire partly destroyed it.  But the trooper pulled through, and now they have a removeable glass house for it to protect it in the winter.  cool!  Back in the city proper, there is a huge palace, and another semi-palace which was built just for some big hotshot's wedding, and people liked it so much (or didn't have a choice, one or the other) that it stayed.  It now has 6 museums inside, one of which is an enormously extensive collection of porcelain, specifically Meissen, as well as special Chinese and Japanese porcelain exhibits.  Cool!

Also there is a wall mural 102 meters long, built entirely out of I don't know how many thousands of pieces of tile, called the "walk of the princes", which I believe chronologically lays out a procession of every reigning dude in Dresden (well Saxony really) from like the 18th cen to the early early 20th.  I'm sure it would help if you knew who you were looking at, but still impressive in itself.  Dresden has beautiful churches as well, and I think a reputable art scene.  The have a ballet show theme in May at one of their 3 performance theatres, they have a fantastic opera house, there are more dance shows coming that I will miss (sad!), and a night-life to boot.  Oh yeah and equally good Bavarian chow and drink for being so far north - sauerbraten with dumplings mmmmm!!!  I had just got off the phone with my mom advising me to see if I could find it (I'd forgotten the name, thus it had proved a bit difficult till now!), and then found myself in a stained-glass dome of a retired old mosque with a great view and indecipherable menu (thank goodness for my guide!), and there it was, the best of both worlds: sauerbraten and dumplings.  could a girl ask for more?  well yes, in fact, b/c I was able to try the 'curry-wurst' as they call it, basically pieces of sausage cut up, covered in ketchup and curry powder with a roll...  and then there's the beer besides!  No wonder I haven't seen anything b/c I keep getting distracted by wursts and strudels and lord knows what else.... this is a problem! :)
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Comments

scully
scully on

sausages...mmmmm
just wait until uli makes you sausages on her little grill on her balcony...

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